The Light, by Eric Gonzalez
With beautiful loved ones at your side the light faded, and faded. There could be no more pleasant death, no better end. Heaven was waiting. The light brightened and brightened. Pure light. Exhilarating.
The light remained. Still exhilarating. You tried to open your eyes. They were already open. You were dead. A deep breath. Wait, you breathed? You did it again. Ok so you could breathe in heaven, “this was normal, and why shouldn’t you be able to breathe in heaven” you told yourself. You rotated your shoulders, they rotated. Your old arthritis pain was gone. No more pain! Heaven at last! You stretched your legs, they felt weak and exhausted. You looked down toward them. Nothing but light.
You were pure light, pure thought. That was a good version of heaven. You smiled, if indeed pure light could smile. Look around. Nothing but light. You felt the muscles in your neck tense. “If I am only light, only thought, only a soul, why can I feel my muscles” you questioned. The idea of phantom limbs that amputees sometimes suffered from came into your mind. That made sense and you accepted it.
A heavenly beep? “Hello” you called out into the light.
“Is anyone there” you called out again.
You tried to walk forward, you couldn’t. Of course you couldn’t you were just thought or maybe a soul. Thoughts and/or souls couldn’t move the traditional ways. You imagined yourself floating above a city and looking down on the many people, cars and buildings. You stopped. That was imagination, not reality. Your eyes were still open and there was only white. “What a boring heaven” you thought and then stopped and said “I’m sorry for thinking that”.
The light went out. Darkness. A new light. A face. Blue, scaly, fat, really fat.
“Own mean vok vun lawah?” the fat face said to you. You didn’t understand. Wait. “Good training?” were you remembering? It was hard to remember back 87 years. You looked into the fat ugly blue face. It was your mother. “S’s’bye” you said without thought and in a drawl, it sounded odd. You mother smiled at you and said “s’s’bye, own sumline.” You paused, “s’s’bye” you said again, this time it stuck to your mouth like peanut butter. Your mother laughed.
Wait why should you care about this? What the hell was going on? This wasn’t your mother. You were dead. “Oh my god” you thought. “I’m sorry you shouted, please forgive me”. You thought of your misgivings and hate. You had tried to be good; you had done everything you could have, and now you were in hell?
The fat ugly thing that you had thought was your mother laughed again. A sinister laugh. No it wasn’t sinister; it was kind, soft and reminded you of Santa Clause.
“So I take it you had fun” she asked. No she didn’t ask that, she asked “knom smun own sabye?”
“Sabye clang na” A voice said. That was your voice.
Your fat mother smiled. You stood up (were you sitting?). It was weird. You moved your legs, they moved but they didn’t move correctly. You looked down. It was difficult and you couldn’t arc your neck far enough to look at your legs. You looked down at your mothers legs. No legs, tentacles you thought as you looked at her flowing tendrils. Like a bush of moving limbs keeping her afloat.
Afloat? You craned your neck around. It was difficult. You were in a very colorful place, bright colors, empty walls. You lifted your hand. It wasn’t a hand; it was a blob of some kind. You swooshed it around. The air made waves. Air doesn’t make waves. You were in water. You held your breath. It was painful. Your mother laughed, water rushed from her mouth. The world started to dim, you breathed in deep. Death would come. It didn’t. You felt better as fresh cool water rushed into your chest. Did you have a chest? You tried to look down again. It didn’t work. You looked at your mother, she had a chest. It was a wide purple blob over the floating bush.
“What the fuck was going on?” you asked yourself.
“You have been gone for a while, that was a long simulation. Think you are prepared now? Think you can pass as a human?
“But” you said before you were too confused to go on.
“Oh dear, I know that look, ok, you can do the training simulation once more, but that’s all, Aunt Jonnop has finished her training and is anxious to go and visit the humans.” A beep sounded behind you, you wanted to know what it was but you couldn’t figure out how to turn around. Your mother continued “finish up quick, only a few years this time. We already abducted some nice human bodies, healthy big ones, and they’re already ready for us to test drive and go adventuring in.
Her blobby hand or arm, or maybe it was just a nub, pushed you back into the seat. You fell slowly, like falling through water. You remember you were in water and started to hold your breath again. You stopped and breathed in water. It felt nice. The whiteness came back. All pure whiteness and nothing.
You felt something on your forehead. It was a kiss, a weird slimy one.
The world changed, the human world, with air made of air, with arms and legs, and people. They smiled at you. You felt you knew them. You did know them. They were your parents, your human parents, but so much younger. “Were going to call you…” your mother said before a screen popped up. It asked you your name. You thought your name and it went back to your mother. She finished her sentence with your name and handed you over to your father. He looked you over and smiled “you are such a beautiful baby…” he paused as a screen popped up to let you choose your sex. There were several options; you choose the one you liked the most.
They played with you, tickled you and fed you. And the years passed, you kept playing kept having fun and eventually you forgot that your mother was waiting for you while you replayed your human training simulation. Shame on you. Now stop playing and go prepare for your trip.
Eric Gonzalez is an international Aid worker, traveling the world seeking understanding, creating new definitions of sin and devoting his time and mind to making the world a better place. While he’s at it he likes to write; he has not published extensively, mostly because he likes to write more then he likes to publish
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